If you are like me and ever wondered what the High School Musical series would have been like with out Zac Efron’s bad singing and all the other horrible songs (that Zac wasn’t involved in) you have your answer in his first post non-HSM effort 17 Again. It’s the same movie only difference is he’s a 40 something dad trapped in a 17 year old body. But all the other elements are there right down to his being the school’s basketball star. Couldn’t he have changed it up a bit and at least be a track star or football star? He even dances a bit in the first few minutes. I like Efron, he’s likeable enough, he rocks the bangs, has amazing eyes and as an old woman I have impure thoughts when I see his amazing six pack, I know that I’m not his target market but I have to say a little bit of him goes a long way. I’m not sure what the message of 17 Again is supposed to be, it’s all over the place.
The joke is that when Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) becomes his teenage self again he rediscovers his teenage kids, what he finds, he doesn’t like – his son Alex (Sterling Knight) is picked on by the basketball star and Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg) is dating the jerk. The rest of the movie he tries to help his kids while preventing his wife Scarlett (Leslie Mann) from finalizing the Divorce. There really isn’t much else to say about 17 Again, it’s a competent movie but there’s no real chemistry amongst anyone and it feels as if everyone is just going through the motions. This is the definition of the Disney Cookie factory film but the irony is, it’s from New Line. I usually like teen films like this but this one is missing something. It’s a perfectly bland, forgettable 90 minutes.
Final Grade C
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Originally posted 4.19.09